Through the weekend of hell I have been sleeping on the sofa in the living room while Dave coughs and whimpers upstairs in our bed. I slept well the first two nights, thanks to a big dinner of spaghetti Bolognese, a Stella Artois and half a Xanax. Yes, I did use mommy’s little helper to assist in getting some shut eye on our somewhat uncomfortable sofa. I will never again buy a sofa with only two cushions and a cavern right in the middle where my hip gets lodged like a small child in a backyard Texas well. A fitful night’s sleep on a nubby couch really makes you feel your age and sport a cotton/poly blend rash. That’s what I get for being suckered into buying a Crate and Barrel faux modern sofa on sale right before Christmas three years ago. Damn you, CB!
As embarrassing as this is, I have to explain why it is so damn hard for me to fall asleep like a normal human being. I am not normal. I have serious issues. My bedtime rituals are now bordering on the ridiculous. I have to pee, shower or wash my feet (don’t even ask), slather on the old lady go bye bye cream, tuck in my undershirt so it doesn’t ride up and expose my back (summer and winter), put in earplugs, turn on the sound machine, stack my favorite pillow combination in a perfect tower of puffy goodness, wrap an old black t-shirt of Dave’s around my head, turn off the light and sleep on my right side. Then, after two to seven turns, I eventually fall into a hazy daze until either Otto chirps or Dave snores and I punch him in the esophagus and start all over again. That is why I forced my husband to endure the worse torture of all time. I am selfish, controlling and needy and I love me some sleepy times. He is practically dancing around the house today, still a bit high on the Vicodin but being super helpful and wildly adorable. Ooh, and he showered!
Otto, on the other hand, has had a rough day. He was as moody and colorful as Sally Field’s Emmy award winning Sybil. He woke up in a spectacular state, talking to his blankets and smiling like a fool. Daddy was well enough to hang and play while I made him an awesome breakfast of French toast and a pesto cheese omelet (see recipe below). Then we sped off to music class with very few incidents. When we arrived he wanted nothing more than to play on the playground outside and not go into a small, brightly lit room with a bunch of kids he seems to disdain.
He stood between my legs moaning as we entered the room and would not walk any further, causing a toddler traffic jam in the doorway. I picked him up and plopped him on the kitty pillow provided and thought to myself, “I am a horrible mother and a bitch for making him play with tambourines in the shapes of maple leaves and froggy castanets.” Come to think of it, that does sound like hell and I suck. The music started and he crawled into my lap so forcefully that it seemed he was trying to scoot back into my vagina and up into his first bedroom. Since I did have C-section he has never met my vagina and by the way, never will.
Otto is not a shy kid, but as of late, he is very clingy and reserved in front of strangers . In this music class, it always takes him a good twenty minutes to warm up to the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and high pitched renditions of the old classics “La Bamba” and “All Night Long”. Today was different, though. He seemed angry and aggravated from the start, at one point turning his back to all the kids marching with drums and groaning at me until his face was the color of a desert sunset. A few mothers looked over but since they had their nanny’s with them I just told them to fuck off in my head and that I was a better person for raising my own child. Harsh and unfair as that sounds, it made me feel better inside and cope with Otto’s mini meltdown. Plus, I was wearing the same jeans I’ve worn for the past month and I knew they must have been as disgusted with me as I was with myself.
Then Otto threw a drum stick at my face and ran to the corner to get his sippy cup, which is against the rules. I followed him and held him as he drank his water and asked him quietly why he hit mommy and what was wrong. He said nothing, of course, because he can’t talk yet and this is when the late talker thing really started to get me down. I had no concerns about it until that fateful day when our former pediatrician made me freak out about his late development in the speech department. But after all the other doctors evaluated him and told us he was fine, I felt great.
Yet, in class, all my worries came flooding back. He seemed so frustrated with everything, especially the annoying hand held lollipop drum and the fall themed pom-poms and couldn’t tell me what he wanted. Maybe, he too, is repulsed by the juniors Levi’s from three season ago that I refuse to take off. Maybe he looks around at all the other mommy’s and sees nice, pleated dress pants, perfect pedicures and stylish outer wear and wants mommy to turn it up a notch and make an effort. Even the nanny’s seemed confident in their wash and wear stretch pants, pastel colored t-shirts and excessive gold jewelry.
Class finally ended with Otto crying as I ripped a bag of Pirates Booty from his little fingers, trying to adhere to the no food rule. As soon as we left the building I gave him back his salty treat and put him in the car where he happily sat, shoving the booty into his mouth and looking more like John Belushi after a bender than a toddler with hopes and dreams of fire truck sightings and cookies.
As soon as we got home I put him to bed and wept uncontrollably. I was never worried about his language skills until that fucking doctor threw around the word Autism like it was a Nerf football and said he would need to be tested at twenty one months. By the way, dick wad, you never told us what you wanted him to be tested for or what the test consisted of? Thanks for the 411! I want to go back a month and not freak out when Otto grunts instead of saying “Please pass the soy sauce” or “ Get these gay pants off of me immediately before someone sees me” or “You have to be joking with that hairdo!” But until that day comes, when he judges me as harshly as the world does, I will have to train myself to enjoy all the sounds and unintelligible consonant combinations that come out of my beautiful, wonderful, music class hating little monkey.